Are you looking for some new ideas?

I was looking for some new ideas on using the iPads and came across this blog by Kristi Meeuwse. Kristi is a Kindergarten Teacher and an Apple Distinguished Educator. Her blog is filled with simple ideas that reach deep levels and let kids document their learning.

See an idea you’d like to try? I’d love to help you out. Let’s chat!



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Read Aloud Books

Hi All-

Came across this today and thought I’d pass it on. It is a symblaloo to a bunch of Read Aloud books from National Geographic.

Here is the link to the symbaloo but if you’d like to make this look a little nicer for the kids I can show you how to place it onto your webpage and then do a webclip right to it from the iPad.  :-)

Happy listening.

Posted in Classroom, Lesson | Tagged , | Comments Off A search engine for kids

There a new kid friendly search engine on the block called The purpose of  Kiddle is to pull “kid appropriate sites” to the top of the search results.

How does Kiddle work? Kiddle is a highly customized Google Search for kid friendly results. Quick note: THIS IS NOT A GOOGLE PRODUCT. (You’ll notice that the Kiddle address is and not Google.) The makers of Kiddle are using Google but have customized the results to be kid friendly.

Why might this be a good choice for our littlest kids? Try this: Go to Google and search for “Ants”. Look at the first several results. Now go to Kiddle and do the same thing. While the Google search may or may not return top hits that are aimed at kids, the Kiddle search will.

How does Kiddle list its results? If you search for “Ants” in Kiddle you should see something like this for the results:

  • The first 3 results will be sites that are written and aimed at kids.
  • Results for number 4 to 7 will be from trusted sites with easy to read content.
  • Results from number 8 onward will be from sites written for adults but filtered with Googles Safe Search.

You can read more about this here.

Let me know what you think. If you like it, consider adding it to the home screen on your iPads as a webclip.




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iPad Management…Coming SOON!

We are very excited to announce that we are in the process of rolling out a product to help us help you manage the iPads. We will be using a product called Casper (yep, like the friendly ghost).

This means lots of great stuff for you.

First, we’ll be able to push out apps to you in a simple, easy manner. If all goes well, we can do this wirelessly and never touch the iPads.

Second, we’ll be able to ‘target’ the iPads with apps. For example, if there is an app that only Kindergarten needs…it can be pushed to only those iPads.

Third, we’ll be able to offer you ‘self-service’ where we can place apps into a queue and you can decide to them pull down onto the iPad or not.

Last, you’ll have a feature called “Casper Focus.” Focus will allow you to ‘focus’ the iPads onto one app and preventing other apps from launching. This could be very helpful in small groups settings to help keep kids on task.

At this point, we are working with the company to set up the back end and then we’ll be doing the training so we know how to make the most of the product and assist you to the greatest degree. We are looking to use this spring as training and testing and hoping to be fully up and running for Fall.

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Does closing apps save battery life?

Nope. We have an official answer straight from Apple!

Closing apps does not save battery life.



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Newest iOS is out

Hello All-

Apple has released iOS 9.2.1.

You can install it on your machine and the student machines.

Apple is promising BIG changes with the next release on iOS 9.3. The biggest game changer is going to be the ability to have kids share iPads and log into them individually.

We’ll keep you posted.

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Task Cards and App Smashing

For those of you new to the term “App Smashing” simply means using several apps to create something…so Popplet, with Camera, with QuickVoice all used for one final product.

I came across this on Twitter – it is “App Smash/Task Cards” that you would put at a station and the kids would follow the cards to create the product. You might need to ‘tweak’ the apps used or it might give you some new ideas.

What do you think?

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Plickers… Clickers….but FREE

Plickers stands for Paper Clickers…get it? Cool, huh.

Plickers is an easy way to replace the ‘clickers’ of yesteryear and no batteries, no software, no registration. Did I mention No Batteries?!

Here is how it works:

  1. You print out a paper ‘plicker’ for each student (card stock is great, but don’t laminate them- the lamination can make them have a glare and then they won’t work).
  2. Each plicker has a number- you should assign each kid a number (maybe their cubby numbers might work well)
  3. Build your questions at (for FREE)
  4. Using your iPad (or phone, if you’d prefer) download the Plickers app
  5. Launch the app and ask a question.
  6. The kids hold up their plickers (each side has a letter A, B, C, D) and you scan their answers.
  7. On to the next question

Plickers is constantly changing and adding new features- they’ve added folders and the ability to upload pictures to questions in the last year or so.

If you’d like to try them out, let me know and I’d be happy to help.


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Kahoot with a twist

For those of you looking for something like Kahoot but want something where getting the answer FAST isn’t the goal and want the questions in a random order…enter Quizizz.

Just like with Kahoot, every student needs a device, however, you could set this up as a station that the kids rotate through.

This one is new to me, too, but I’d love to try it out with you.

A link to Quizizz is found here.

A link to Tony Vincent’s blog review/explanation is here.

Kids DO not need accounts for Quizizz and teacher accounts are FREE!

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Updating to the latest iOS

If you haven’t already done so, you will want to update your iPads to the latest iOS.

To check that an update is available:

Go to Settings>General>Software Update>Install now

Walk through any prompts. You can say no to any questions asked. No username or password will be needed (if it asks for one, you can click ‘skip’).

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